Sean Maguire handed Ireland call-up by Martin O'Neill

Sean Maguire has been handed his first call-up to the Republic of Ireland senior squad by Martin O’Neill, writes Stephen Barry.

The Preston North End striker remains the top-scorer in the League of Ireland this season, scoring 20 league goals for Cork City before his move to the Championship club.

Since then, the 23-year-old scored in pre-season and started PNE’s first Championship game of the season against Sheffield Wednesday, but was left on the bench for last Saturday’s trip to Leeds United.

That goalscoring form has earned him the call-up for Ireland’s World Cup qualifiers against Georgia (September 2) and Serbia (September 5).

Maguire will be joined in the squad by his club captain Greg Cunningham, as the left-back gets a recall four years after his last of four caps.

Preston’s four-man contingent, which includes Daryl Horgan and Andy Boyle, is only eclipsed by Burnley’s five representatives: Robbie Brady, Jeff Hendrick, Kevin Long, Jon Walters and Stephen Ward.

Uncapped duo Matt Doherty (Wolves) and Liam Kelly (Reading) are also named in the 39-man provisional squad.

Potential starters Ciaran Clark, James McCarthy and Shane Long return to the squad after injury ruled them out of the Austria draw last June.

Rob Elliot, Paul McShane, Stephen Quinn, David Meyler and Kevin Doyle also earn recalls.

The players will report into camp on Monday, August 28, where O'Neill will trim the panel ahead of training at the FAI National Training Centre.

Republic of Ireland squad

Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph (Middlesbrough), Keiren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday), Rob Elliot (Newcastle United), Colin Doyle (Bradford City)

Defenders: Cyrus Christie (Middlesbrough), Richard Keogh, Alex Pearce (Derby County), Paul McShane (Reading), Shane Duffy (Brighton & Hove Albion), Ciaran Clark (Newcastle United), John O'Shea (Sunderland), John Egan (Brentford), Greg Cunningham (Preston North End), Kevin Long, Stephen Ward (Burnley), Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers)

Midfielders: Aiden McGeady (Sunderland), James McClean (West Bromwich Albion), Glenn Whelan, Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), Jeff Hendrick, Robbie Brady (Burnley), James McCarthy (Everton), Stephen Quinn, Liam Kelly (Reading), David Meyler (Hull City), Harry Arter (Bournemouth), Eunan O'Kane (Leeds United), Wes Hoolahan (Norwich City), Jonathan Hayes (Celtic), Callum O'Dowda (Bristol City), Alan Browne, Daryl Horgan (Preston North End)

Forwards: Jonathan Walters (Burnley), Shane Long (Southampton), Daryl Murphy (Nottingham Forest), David McGoldrick (Ipswich Town), Kevin Doyle (Colorado Rapids), Sean Maguire (Preston North End)

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